Sarah Brightman has opened up about her new mystery man, saying she is "so happy" and "so lucky" to have met him. The world's best-selling soprano, who was married to Andrew Lloyd Webber from 1984 to 1990, featured in HELLO! magazine in January 2019 and exclusively said: "I'm so happy. I'm so lucky to have met him. Our work takes us both all over the world, so when we spend time together it's gorgeous, very lovely. At this stage in my life having a partner is all about sharing and knowing that someone is there for you."
Recalling how the couple were introduced by a mutual friend four years ago, Sarah, 58, said: "It was as simple as: 'You should meet this person; you'll get on well.' So we started texting each other and met up. We'd both been married twice before, weren't looking for anybody and were getting on with our lives. I wasn't even going down the relationship route in my head, but we connected and something just clicked into place."
Sarah Brightman looked stunning in a series of gowns adorned with Swarovski crystals
Although Sarah's marriages to music manager Andrew Graham-Stewart and musical theatre legend Andrew Lloyd Webber ended in divorce, she hasn't ruled out making it third time lucky. "At the moment I am happy with the way things are, but if it suddenly felt right to get married, I wouldn't be against it. I think the institution of marriage is a wonderful thing. There are good reasons for it and it works very well for some people," she said.
Sarah's career began at the age of 16
"I wouldn't call myself a bachelorette but, as with any human being, I can get set in my ways. So when you allow someone into your life, it's quite a big thing and there has to be compromise." Sarah is no stranger to compromise. During her ten-year relationship with German music producer Frank Peterson, their attempts to have a child, which included IVF treatment, were unsuccessful and she resigned herself to never being a mother. "I was ready for children but it didn’t work out. I got over it quite quickly, though. That makes me sound cold, but I’m not. I just thought: 'There’s nothing I can do about this now.' So I moved on. I don’t tend to think in terms of fate, but in that instance it kind of was. "Despite this I have lots of children in my life. With five younger brothers and sisters, the babies and children are continual, which is great. On the flipside, I see the worry my siblings go through over their children, even after they become adults. It's what parents do for the rest of their lives. I doubt whether I could have led the life I’ve had if I had children of my own."
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Sarah performed at the Barcelona Olympic Games opening ceremonies in 1992
And what an extraordinary life Sarah has had. Revered for her three-octave vocal range and for pioneering classical crossover music – she simultaneously topped Billboard’s dance and classical music charts – she has received more than 180 gold and platinum awards in more than 40 countries. Her career began at the age of 16 when she became a member of dance troupe Pan’s People. She then joined dance group Hot Gossip before releasing several solo disco singles. She made her West End debut in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Cats, then starred in his 1986 hit The Phantom of the Opera as Christine Daaé, a role the composer – by then her husband – created for her. "It was fabulous. Even now I go to see it, sitting in the audience with everyone else. Andrew and I are still good friends." Last year she joined him to celebrate the show's 30th anniversary on Broadway, when she delighted the audience with a performance of the title song. Looking back on how her life unfolded after her split from Andrew, she recalled: "I went through a terrible time after my divorce, but I don’t think of negative things in my life – there are only challenges. So I went somewhere else and stood on my own two feet. It turned out to be the right decision. I carved out a great career and an interesting life."
Sarah and Andrew are still good friends
As well as performing at prestigious events including the opening ceremonies of the Barcelona Olympic Games in 1992 and the Beijing Games in 2008, she sang at the 2007 benefit concert held in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales. Her 1996 duet with Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli, Time to Say Goodbye, ranks among the biggest selling singles of all time. A haunting new rendition of the song is on her album Hymn "The inspiration for this album comes from the slightly dystopian time in which we're living. People are disturbed by things like the refugee crisis and feel unsure of what the future holds. But as we experience life's traumas, we naturally look to the light and the good in this world. "I've always been fascinated by light itself and have a passion for Swarovski crystals, which reflect light in so many ways," continued Sarah, who visited Swarovski’s headquarters in Austria to co-design a signature collection and the tiaras created for her performances on her world tour. "After years of wearing these crystals on my costumes, it was a perfect fit to collaborate on my own range, which includes beautiful jewellery. I want my fans to be transported by the light and my music."
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Looking as svelte as she did 30 years ago, Sarah puts her figure down to "eating healthily and not over- indulging". She demonstrated her fitness levels in 2015 when she completed all the necessary training for a spaceflight to the International Space Station. She was due to be part of a three-man crew travelling in a Russian Soyuz rocket. "A friend involved in the mission thought I’d be a perfect candidate," laughed Sarah, who coincidentally had a hit when she was 18 with the song I Lost My Heart to a Starship Trooper. The training was gruelling. "I didn't take it seriously to start with. I'm an artist who left school at 16, with no maths degree or engineering skills. Suddenly I found I had these natural mental and physical abilities which were perfect for spaceflight. I don't think I shall ever be so challenged again in my life, but it was fun." She subsequently postponed the trip for "personal family reasons".
Sarah enjoys spending time at her house on the south coast
When not reaching for the stars, Sarah's favourite form of relaxation is getting back to nature in the UK with her family and dachshunds Georgie and Leo at the house she shares with her brother on the south coast. "I step out wearing no make-up and with my hair scraped back in a ponytail, which makes me feel free. I love walking along the beach and listening to the waves. Whatever the weather, I go for a swim to feel the sea against my skin. "My brother has a parrot called Ernest with an amazing classical repertoire. When we go out we put on The Magic Flute for Ernest to sing along to. He loves it and the sound is beautiful."
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